It's Dangerous to Quit Grains sponsored by Kelloggs paleo diet-min

It’s Dangerous to Quit Grains (Sponsored by Kelloggs)

I received an interesting comment pointing me to an article on the website of the Dietitians Association of Australia (update: this has since been removed), all about the Paleo Diet.  The four paragraph critique questions whether there is any merit to this way of eating.  It concludes that they do not support the diet, as

It excludes nutritious core foods such as breads and cereals, and dairy foods

They are also concerned that

The Paleo Diet encourages restrictive eating – an approach that is not sustainable in the long-term. And by banning certain nutritious foods, followers of the diet will be at a greater risk of falling short on important nutrients, such as calcium. Like many fad diets, the Paleo Diet, is no substitute for expert, individual dietary advice from an Accredited (SIC) Practising Dietitian.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest calcium balance, rather than calcium intake is of crucial importance – something that a paleo diet promotes.  Sadly they don’t mention the other nutrients they are concerned about.  This would interest me greatly, as when I have tracked my daily diet I have greatly exceeded all of the micro-nutrient RDA’s (except calcium) by eating in this way.

They say Australians should eat a diet with a wide variety of food from all food groups; that meets their health needs; that is sustainable in the long term and that fits in with their lifestyle.  This implies that they don’t consider a Paleo diet meets these criteria.  I know I'm not alone in finding Paleo is the best diet for my health; very sustainable and fits in easily into my lifestyle.  The fact that it is restrictive in not including processed foods and grains, certainly isn't what I’d call restrictive.  I don’t consider grains a proper “food group” and I think my diet is far more varied than those who eat from the food pyramid.

It's Dangerous to Quit Grains sponsored by Kelloggs paleo diet-min

Before I let the inaccuracies and complete lack of research and studies bother me further, I had a look at the partners of the Dietitians Association of Australia.  It might surprise you to see that their partners include Kelloggs, Nestle, Unilever, Dairy Australia and the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council!

Just to be completely clear, that’s Kelloggs, who make “healthy” high-carb breakfast cereals.  Nestle who make drinks, snacks, breakfast foods and confectionery – which for the most part all share grains, sugars and other un-Paleo “foods” in their ingredients lists.  Unilever – whose products include margarine and diet meal replacement shakes.  I think we can guess which foods Dairy Australia and the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council endorse.

Sadly I think the more popular Paleo becomes, the more we will read stories like this warning about the dangers of a Paleo diet.  There just isn't the same degree of money for the food industry in real, unprocessed foods like meat and vegetables.

How can we trust an organisation that has a financial relationship with these partners, to give us true, researched dietary advice?  I wonder what would happen to their partnerships if they were to take a different stance on grains?

Paleo Cookbooks cavemanfeast paleo-recipe-book
10 replies
  1. Screen name (required)
    Screen name (required) says:

    They make no mention lactose-intolerance or celiacs?
    The calcium comment was a little off mark considering they’re encouraging foods that is known to leach calcium, zinc and phosphorus.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1658696 Fruits and vegetables blow most grains products out of the water with nutritional content.

    The also seem to make no mention of vegetarian diets being potentially dangerous due to “excluding food groups”, “being restrictive and unsustainable long term” or “banning certain nutritious foods”.

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Exactly, it’s not exactly balanced researched reporting is it! You’re quite right about vegetarian diets too – how can they forget that?!

      Reply
  2. Code
    Code says:

    Thank you for sharing the ridiculousness of the unsubstantiated, flat-out misleading information regarding our health and well-being. It is through articles like this that separate the reality of nutrition with what we feel and know of our bodies, to an inaccurate “science” in which the average person will not understand other than shock-jock statements like “it’s dangerous to quit grains”. The best thing I’m sure that many of you will agree that the most valuable thing that the Paleo LIFESTYLE provides us with, is the ability to understand how foods, sleep, exercise, stress sun, effect our bodies! Not sustainable … pffft!

    Reply
    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks Code, it is very powerful understanding the impact these factors have – I just wish more people would experiment and find out for themselves

      Reply
  3. Geni Jay
    Geni Jay says:

    I wonder how long before the goverment recommened food list is finally updated? How long before the truth ‘hits the fan’?

    Reply
  4. Dennis Daniels
    Dennis Daniels says:

    Hi Suz.
    Vegetarians, especially Vegans don’t live longer than meat eaters, it just seems like it.
    Regards Dennis

    Reply
  5. Mel
    Mel says:

    How can a ‘diet’ that advises us to eat food in its most natural state be ‘dangerous’… I find the article amusing as a cealiac but unfortunately there are people that will be influenced by this article

    Reply
  6. Phil
    Phil says:

    These so called independent experts have kept us fat, tired and sick for many years, and their outdated non evidenced information is likely to keep us that way. They will just keep blaming the patient for stubbornly remaining sick and not following their prescription to the letter. This despite the overwhelming evidence of our burgeoning health budget blowout, fuelled in large part by poor diet choices recommended by joke organisations of so called experts. As a person diagnosed with celiac disease I was damn nearly killed following the flawed advice of accredited dietitians.

    Reply

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